Poetry is not dead, and Dermot Kennedy is here to prove it to you.
An acoustic guitar, a piano, a dash of hip-hop influences and his raspy voice. The Irish singer-songwriter needs nothing more to deliver heartfelt songs and melodies about love, memories and past experiences. Kennedy’s songs contain such strong emotions that they immediately connect with the listener. They feel personal. They sound like everything you’ve ever wanted to sing or write about. They resonate as if he’s singing about you, to you.
Last year, when he had less than ten songs available on his Spotify account, Kennedy was already playing sold out shows all over the world. And 2018 started well for him: he released the video for Moments Passed (directed by Nabil, who has also worked with Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Foals…); he played several shows at the SXSW Music Festival (Austin, Texas); and on April 6th, he treated us with a mixtape of five songs titled “Mike Dean Presents: Dermot Kennedy” (produced by no other than… Mike Dean!).
Now, is it going to be the year Dermot Kennedy finally gets the recognition that he deserves?
Naya is a young french singer and songwriter who grew up around music and became herself a complete musican. She’s learned how to play piano, the drums and the guitar and eventually got around songwriting at the very beginning of her teenage years. Now adding electronics to her craft, Naya sets herself as a complete artist at only 17.
Listening to Naya comes into its own on a stage. Her dreamy universe, the innocence in her otherwise bluesy voice, encapsulate the listener in a bubble of sweetness, for a few pieces. Naya stands out from the ones her age through a level of maturity that is rarely characteristic of debuting artists. The singer tells stories about herself and shares her hopes and dreams, in the simplest manner. Like in her song Jukebox, she underlines, giggling, at the beginning of the song that finding herself on the stage of this mythical venue, where she saw Jake Bugg (another singer she admires) is unbelievable. These are moments that reminded us that we were indeed watching a very young person, but also moments where we remembered our humanity.
Having just released her debut EP ‘Blossom’ last year, Naya knows how to present her songs with accuracy and depth.
Music has the power to flow into your veins and heal you, wherever in life you may be. Isaac Gracie has this power. The young Briton hasn’t been around for long, yet he opens up through songs about his own fears and demons. Touching at times, melancholic at others, Isaac makes you want to follow him in his journey through life and figure out your own. As a literature and creative writing student, Gracie values his writing and makes a point in remaining faithful to himself and in always conveying integrity. It is with this challenge in mind that he released his eponymous debut album this week. 11 tracks, whose titles aren’t capitalized. His guitar-playing, his warm and soaring voice send the listener on the pursuit of the self, in a fuzzy yet soothing atmosphere.
At only 23, Isaac Gracie has cites Jeff Buckley as an inspiration for him; we believe however that he has enough talent and personality of his own to stand as a key singer-songwriter of his generation. Pro tip : Listen to All In My Mind – Live from The Waiting Room, 2016. Isaac Gracie will be on tour in Europe next month.
Have you ever been looking for relatable lyrics, topping joyful guitar riffs? Alternative pop-rock songwriter Alex Lahey is here to rescue! In her debut album, ‘I Love You like a Brother’, Lahey displays a collection of personal issues she’s been dealing with but especially self-care. Where the artist stands out is in the way she sings about it with humour and sarcasm. In the end, Alex Lahey only highlights that she is coming to terms with our foolish society with confidence…And you could too! Fresh and dynamic, Alex Lahey‘s take on punk singing and songwriting is fierce and we’re all for this.
Having spent a lot of time busking in every corner of Melbourne and also traveling around, looking to reset his mind, Didirri masters a clever songwriting and knows how to tell a story. Without a warning, he catches every attention through his raw, vulnerable and heart-melting vocal style. Didirri looks wild and untouchable, which also translates in the way he performs his music. In songs like Fall, Didirri allows you to time travel leaving you, however, bewildered. In others, such as Jude and Formadelhyde (his most recent single), the young man reveals his emotive facet and we soon realize that there is beauty everywhere if only we know how to acknowledge it.
Rya Park – If you’re a fan of powerful groovy voices, don’t miss out on Rya Park. The young Australian singer has only released one (successful) single, Billy, she has however played tons of national shows and supported several popular artists. Expect depth and charm but also a lot of strength from this woman. Most importantly : keep an eye on Rya Park, because she’s one hell of an artist. Listen to BILLY.
Katharsis – Katharsis has been taking time to craft her music and find her way in this adventure. She has been studying music for several years, but her relationship to singing and songwriting has been with her since she was a young kid. Not so fond of rushing, Freya (aka Katharsis) has obviously chosen quality over quantity, hence the release of two songs (Come With Me and Apple Water – Live session) despite years of hard work. But don’t worry, she will soon be revealing new material to the world! Release your senses and listen to Katharsis.
Words : Mireille C. & Mariam B.
Read also : 2017 in review – Singer-Songwriters who stood out this year (ft. Julien Baker, Lewis Watson, Elliott Maginot and Amy Shark)